Finished writing the first draft of my screenplay.  It is a spy thriller I've been thinking about for a while with a brainy heroine, a government conspiracy and some bad guys.  No car chases.  Not as many f-bombs as Wolf of Wall Street but a few.  And I am going to put it away for a week.  Not reread it at all.  And then...start the painful process of rereading and rewriting the crappy parts.

I have some brave friends who have volunteered to be beta readers and man, this isn't even ready for beta reading, but...the first draft is done.  On a Venn diagram somewhere of "seeing your writing become a movie" there is a big circle of "thinking about writing it" and then a small circle of "writing screenplay" and then a really important smaller circle of "editing it so that it DOESN'T SUCK" and then a smaller one that is "getting an agent or producer to read it" and so on. 

So the optimist in me says, hey, I moved from a big circle to a smaller one.  Woo hoo.  And I had a 110 page conversation with my brainy bad ass heroine.

This brand new screenplay of mine is a messy fledgling.  We'll see.

I am very happy to announce that from now until the end of my current deployment I will donate ALL proceeds from the sale of ROOM FOUR to the wonderful students at Operation All the Way Home.  They are about halfway to building an accessible home for a wounded warrior from their town.  Jerral Hancock lost an arm, suffered burns, and is paraplegic from injuries in Iraq.  He is also the father of two young kids.
His town rallied around him when he returned and then the students of Lancaster High took it a step further.  If you have already read ROOM FOUR, consider a direct donation.  You can read more about Mr. Hancock's journey at
These kids give me great hope for the future!
Much to my chagrin, this is not my own camel.  I was hoping to be issued one during this deployment to the Middle East but such was not the case.  But I did get close enough the other day to pet him.
A book I wrote earlier and (wisely I can say now) did not publish is still there on my desk top.  And the truth is, I just figured out how to gut it and redo it and turn it into a better book.  I don't mind editing.  I usually like it.  But I like the fine tuning side of editing.
I freely admit the thought of chopping out twenty page sections of text is scary.  Maybe it will feel good, like a fresh haircut on a 100 degree day here.
Maybe not.
But it will bring the book back to life.  And that's what it needs.

Who wants a belly rub?





For those who have compared ROOM FOUR to CATCH 22 I am flattered.  But there is a big difference.  After this week of government watching I am convinced that CATCH 22 was actually a work of non-fiction. 

From now through the end of the month, if you email me, I will send you a free PDF of ROOM FOUR.  That's it.  No spam.  You will not win the Nigerian lottery.  Sorry.  Indie Author Land is doing a cool promotion and this seems to be the simplest way to participate.  Drop me a line via my contact form on this site.  And check out for more great, new genre bending books.  Why just this month?  Because the following month I will be insanely busy and not checking email nearly as often.  Army stuff.
A few years ago I went to a burlesque show in Paris.  This was a low rent affair, admission was five euros and the venue was a tent street side.  Why did I go?  Curiosity mainly.  Everything is glamorous in Paris, right?
I've been thinking about this since the whole Miley Cyrus debacle.  I watched the video (and currently have the damn song stuck in my head because it is catchy).  I wasn't shocked so much as meh...but also creeped out by the teddy bear theme.
People have called her performance many things...but few have said it was very good. 
Why bring this up?  Because I remember the vibe from the Parisian tent.  The performer had wool stockings that went mid thigh.  She wore a black wrap dress.  What she didn't reveal and what she did during the strip tease was interesting.  For most of the performance she had more clothes on than Miley.  In writing the mantra is "show, don't tell."  Maybe it is more complex than that.  Suggest.  Allude.  Lead.  And let the mind wander the rest of the way.

Since it is Harleyfest in Milwaukee this weekend, it seems the right time to put in a plug for "The Old Man and the Harley: A Last Ride through our Father's America,"  by John Newkirk.
I had the privilege of meeting father and son at Harleyfest a few years ago.  The son recreated his father's ride from east to west coast back in the 1930s.  The panorama of the road then, the small towns, the lack of service stations along the way in the 30's and the son's reflections are great reading.  It was a challenging ride (I think the father had about $20 in his pocket for the whole trip) then and a reflective one the second time around.
Safe riding friends and happy reading!
This guy loves his car rides.  He saw my kid grab her backpack for school today and cannonballed into the passenger seat with this big dog smile.  I think he drooled in my coffee but that's OK.
We dropped off a copy of ROOM FOUR at the Mequon Library today.  I am "in the stacks", baby!